Statement will become mandatory on 1 September 2019
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has issued a statement to better tackle known problems with the property industry. The statement titled ‘Countering bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing’ has been issued following collaboration between RICS, the industry and governments around the world.
The content of the statement sets out obligations for RICS professionals and regulated firms to minimise their exposure to anti-money laundering, bribery and corruption risks, said the statement from RICS. The statement is said to include how to guard against these financial crimes in day-to-day business operations.
“While principles in this area were covered by RICS conduct and ethics, this professional statement and its regulation will be specific on certain points. The property sector is vulnerable to this sort of activity, and the statement will manage the risk, increasing market confidence in the profession,” says Nigel Sellars, Global Property Standards, associate director at RICS.
According to RICS, the professional statement is mandatory for all sectors and across all disciplines. The firm says the document provides a clear description of how to manage risks, while outlining professional and ethical behavior. It also providing practitioners and firms with clear and consistent principles on what constitutes a breach of conduct, the firm said.
RICS says that it engage professionals and industry stakeholders around the world, including Transparency International and Financial Action Task Force (FATF), to address the risks posed by bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing.
Stephen Flanagan, partner – head of Valuation & Advisory at Knight Frank MENA adds, “Given the growing worldwide demand for real estate projects and the economic value generated by such projects, the engagement of the key stakeholders such as engineering, construction and real estate industries in the fight against corruption is clearly of the highest importance. In an emerging, maturing market such as the Middle East, the importance of strong standards on countering bribery, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing are paramount for the reputation of the market.”